With Summer only one month away, it’s an exciting time for families around the country. Australia being well-known for their incredible beaches, going away and frequently visiting the local pool seems the best way to cool off with the little ones. Some of us are lucky enough to own a pool so dunking in the water in our very own home is a bonus for some families, however, Sun and Water safety always come first.
Not many people realise how dangerous it is to leave kids in the pool unattended as one glance away can risk everything. As parents, we have the responsibility of looking after our kids, providing protection and support no matter what. It should be a no-brainer that Sun and Water safety is imperative to all families but being reminded every now and then can help us become more cautious of the factors that could lead to danger.
So how do we keep our children safe from the dangers of the Sun and Water?
Supervision is a must
Part of being a parent is looking after your children, meaning always constantly looking out for them wherever they go. You’d be surprised how many parents can easily lose sight of their kids when they get distracted over something. Have you lost your child at your local supermarket while you were deciding over two brands of the same item? Those seconds of turning away can turn into a disaster when you’re by the pool. Unfortunately drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children. So it’s really not worth the risk turning your back on them while they’re playing in the pool. Also, you should never entrust your older children the responsibility of supervising the kids in the pool. At the end of the day, you’re accountable for their safety!
Stay under the shade where possible (in very hot conditions)
When the weather is over 30 degrees, there’s no way being out is an option for some people. But for those that love to be out and experience the warmth of the glowing sun, staying home isn’t a viable option. When you are going to the beach or to the local pool, encourage your children to stay under shade where possible. Bring a beach umbrella during those hotter days because it will provide a little shelter for your family when they aren’t swimming. You’ll enjoy your fish and chips break even more when you’re not melting in the sun, avoiding those nasty sunburns.
Doing a first aid course can be life-saving
Some of us are lucky enough to have our workplaces pay for our first aid courses depending on what career we do (teachers, childcare workers etc) but if we have time on the weekends, spending a couple hundred dollars on a first aid course is worth it. This is recommended for parents owning a pool as learning CPR can be really beneficial in the case of emergency. Having a first aid course is optional for most of us but knowing how to save a person after they have drowned can make a difference in keeping them conscious until an ambulance arrives. So if you have time to spare during the week, go and get your first aid qualification and if you already have one, make sure you do a CPR refresher course at least once a year!
Wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen wherever possible
Make sure you and your children wear protective clothing. When temperatures begin to peak at around early mornings to the late afternoons, it’s really important that you all have the protection you need from applying sunscreen every few hours and wearing clothing while letting your skin breathe in extreme weather conditions. Make sure you opt out for clothing made from cotton. Wearing loose-fitted long-sleeve tops and bottoms covering most of their skin are recommended for young children. Avoid layering them and make sure the clothing isn’t too thick.
Using an SPF30 sunscreen works best before going outside so make sure when you apply sunscreen, do it 20 minutes before you leave home. Afterward, apply sunscreen every two hours. Regardless if the bottle says every four hours, you’re better protected with increased use. This will benefit you and the children when you take a day trip to the beach or a day at the park.
Take extra security measures around the house and when outside near water
When you see the baby pool isn’t in use, empty it. Even if the bird fountains are small, if you have a little toddler around the house, make sure to leave it empty until they are old enough to go to school. Kids are very curious and like to wander about so it’s best to leave small koi ponds empty as well to prevent any drowning incidents from occurring. Make sure your pool is properly fenced and has a lock when not in use. If possible, ensure that this lock isn’t visible to the children and if you can, set an alarm that if accessed without permission, you’ll be able to hear a warning signal go off.
When you are planning on going to the beach, make sure you supervise your children at all times. When going near the water, always hold your child’s hand and stay in the shallow part of the water. Stay between the flags and nearby a lifeguard where possible. The more visible you are, the better!
Stay safe this Summer and always remember to never lose sight of your children. The worst thing that can happen is regretting not taking better care of them when you’re out at the beach or the local pools. Remember to have fun and to always slip, slop, slap with your little ones!